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ElasticalGomez

WT101 RYE Question?

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ElasticalGomez

So here's a question that may have been asked a thousand times already:

Why does it not say "bourbon" on the WT101 Rye bottle? :skep:

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kickert

It is not a bourbon. It is a Rye Whiskey.

Bourbon must have over 51% corn in the mashbill. A Rye Whiskey must have over 51% rye in the mashbill. WTR101 falls into the later catagory (as do whiskies like Rittenhouse, Old Overhold, Sazerac...)

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bluesbassdad
So here's a question that may have been asked a thousand times already:

Why does it not say "bourbon" on the WT101 Rye bottle? :skep:

Perhaps it's been asked in other ways.

Bourbon is legally defined. One element of the definition is that the mash must be at least 51% corn.

Rye is also legally defined. One element of the defintion is that the mash must be at least 51% rye.

Those requirements preclude labeling a spirit as both bourbon and rye.

I used to have the relevant Federal regs bookmarked, but I lost it when I switched browsers recently.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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LarryG
Why does it not say "bourbon" on the WT101 Rye bottle?
Because it's not bourbon. It's rye whiskey.

By law, the mashbill for bourbon must contain at least 51% corn. Similarly, the mashbill for rye whiskey must contain at least 51% rye.

Larry

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ElasticalGomez

ok.

i knew about the legalities of "bourbon" but thought that WTR101 was a rye bourbon and not a rye whiskey.

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Rughi
ok.

i knew about the legalities of "bourbon" but thought that WTR101 was a rye bourbon and not a rye whiskey.

That's an easy mistake to make.

WT101 (the bourbon) has rye in the mashbill - perhaps 18% +/-

Roger

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bluesbassdad
ok.

i knew about the legalities of "bourbon" but thought that WTR101 was a rye bourbon and not a rye whiskey.

Whiskey is a distilled spirit made from grain, of whatever kind.

One possible basis for confusion is the following. Bourbon may contain rye or wheat as the so-called "flavor grain" (usually rye, rarely both). They have such different flavors that a bourbon that has wheat in the mash is sometimes referred to as a "wheater" or "wheat-recipe bourbon".

Because rye-recipe bourbon, such as WT101, is the norm, its full appellation isn't used very often.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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ElasticalGomez

Because rye-recipe bourbon, such as WT101, is the norm, its full appellation isn't used very often.

ah, ok. that makes sense. thanks guys! :grin:

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craigthom
Bourbon may contain rye or wheat as the so-called "flavor grain" (usually rye, rarely both).

I don't think the small grain has to be rye or wheat. It's got to be grain to be a whiskey, and it's got to have at least 51% corn to be a bourbon, but the other grains can be anything. They just aren't.

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kickert
I don't think the small grain has to be rye or wheat. It's got to be grain to be a whiskey, and it's got to have at least 51% corn to be a bourbon, but the other grains can be anything. They just aren't.

Actually the way the rules are stated, to be a bourbon it must 51% corn and then also contain only wheat, rye, or barley.

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craigthom
Actually the way the rules are stated, to be a bourbon it must 51% corn and then also contain only wheat, rye, or barley.

Which rules are those? Here's what I found:

(1)(i) ‘‘Bourbon whisky’’, ‘‘rye whisky’’, ‘‘wheat whisky’’, ‘‘malt whisky’’, or ‘‘rye malt whisky’’ is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored at not more than 125° proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type.

It only defines the main grains of the listed whiskeys, not any other grains used. It lists corn, rye, wheat, and barley because the one sentence covers bourbon, rye, wheat, and malt whiskeys.

Note, too, that it's "not less than 51 percent", not the "over 51%" you wrote earlier.

I usually make a point of looking things up before telling someone else he is wrong, but that's probably just me.

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kickert
Which rules are those? Here's what I found:

It only defines the main grains of the listed whiskeys, not any other grains used. It lists corn, rye, wheat, and barley because the one sentence covers bourbon, rye, wheat, and malt whiskeys.

I usually make a point of looking things up before telling someone else he is wrong.

We are looking at the same thing. We are just looking at it differently. You are right that the listing is covering the specifics of 5 types of whiskey [and thus the 4 grains (5 if you differentiate between malted and unmalted rye)], I honestly did not catch that distinction when I looked at. I was looking at the last sentence "and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type." I took that to mean it could only contain those grains. I very well could be wrong. I am not a legal expert, nor an ATF agent.

If I am wrong, I have learned from this process. Just to be clear, I did in fact research before I posted. That just doesn't mean I came up with the right answer. ;-)

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craigthom

I think that means you can call something "bourbon whisky" (crazy that they spell it that way) if it's a mixture of "bourbon whiskies". Four Roses yellow label and small batch are examples, since they are made of four more more different bourbons.

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kickert
I think that means you can call something "bourbon whisky" (crazy that they spell it that way) if it's a mixture of "bourbon whiskies". Four Roses yellow label and small batch are examples, since they are made of four more more different bourbons.

I think you are probably right.

Part of the reason I assumed (and you know what that does) it could only be corn, barley, rye or wheat was because someone at a distillery mentioned they had thought of using other grains, but could not keep the "bourbon" distinction.

Has one ever used other grains? What else would you even try? Oat? Rice?

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p_elliott
Actually the way the rules are stated, to be a bourbon it must 51% corn and then also contain only wheat, rye, or barley.

BT experimental bourbon has used rice. See article bourbon review Godfathers of the amber world.

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LarryG

Regarding the 51% minimum ... this may be an extreme technicality, but is the percentage measured by weight or by volume? There is some variation in the specific gravity of the various grains. I was just reviewing the BATF regulations, and I don't see a stipulation either way. Does anyone know?

Larry

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barturtle

The mashibill in Regan's Book of Bourbon is in bushels, which is both a measure of volume (8 dry gallons of corn) and weight (56 pounds of dry corn)

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cowdery
Actually the way the rules are stated, to be a bourbon it must 51% corn and then also contain only wheat, rye, or barley.

Not true. Yes, you are misinterpreting it.

Bourbon can be 100 percent corn or, if at least 51 percent corn, the other grains can be anything--oats, rice, flax, millet, etc. It does have to be grain, though. It can't be fruit or sugar cane or something else.

Why did the person at the distillery get it wrong? Because they don't necessarily know all the rules. They believe many of the same myths consumers believe.

Re Larry's question, I believe the distilleries measure the grain for each mashing by volume, not weight. It's moot, though, because every bourbon made is well above the 51% threshold. Straight wheat and straight rye, however, hover around 51%. Everything is recorded so it can be audited. I assume that it is 51% within some margin of error.

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Attila
Has one ever used other grains? What else would you even try? Oat? Rice?

Sorghum is widely grown in Africa for a variety of uses including Guinness (well, at least the Guinness sold in Africa).

Potato (also not a grain) but often used in place of grain, such as in vodkas.

Buckwheat (not technically a grain) but often used in place of grain, such as in shochu.

Sugarcane / sugarbeats (again not grains) but often used in rum and shochu.

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kickert
Not true. Yes, you are misinterpreting it.

Bourbon can be 100 percent corn or, if at least 51 percent corn, the other grains can be anything--oats, rice, flax, millet, etc. It does have to be grain, though. It can't be fruit or sugar cane or something else.

I stand corrected. My apologies to Craig.

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craigthom
I stand corrected. My apologies to Craig.

I think we'd already worked that out. No harm, no foul!

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